To the one that helped me realized my potential,
I have no hesitance in saying you were my favorite teacher. Of course there were the teachers that shaped my adolescence, drove me in the direction of my heart and convinced me to trust myself rather than their judgments of me. But you were the catalyst. The tipping point I’ve been searching for.
I knew this was true a long time ago, but I was afraid you might find the nature of this letter inappropriate. It really isn’t, but I was always concerned with my overbearing emotions connecting me to everyone I come in contact with. I am emotional in everything that I do therefore I know this is the perfect time to let you know all that you did for me.
Did you know that I had no faith in myself? I thought a career in journalism was a mask. That it was my way of hiding the fact that the only thing I thought I was good at was putting words on paper. Then I met you.
I sat front row in your first class, and I made the decision that I would take this seriously. I wouldn’t cruise through the curriculum nor would I look for a way out. I would see it to the end. You talked about journalism like it was this adventure, only everyday or every story was a new one. You made me a believer. You also made me realize I could do this. Thank you.
The classes were not the most exhilarating if I’m being honest, but you were so enthusiastic in the potential that sat before you. I could tell—you were looking forward to what we would become. The tipping point wasn’t that though. It was the post-GWM era. When you went to bat for me. On more occasions than one.
Remember that internship you encouraged me to go after? My adventure that started in DC, and then left there after mastering the art of networking and molding my passion for politics in a way that I could some day use in my journalism career? I would never have made it there without you. I almost felt as though I owed it to you to do well. To chase what I wanted. And I did.
I’m not sure I ever really felt you were my teacher. I saw you more as my mentor. The person I knew would want to hear about my post-undergrad pursuits. The person who wasn’t afraid to recommend for whatever I asked, because you knew I wouldn’t let you down. So this is simply my thank you.
Thank you for believing. Even if you were doing what you always do, and it wasn’t a big deal nor an isolated incident, thank you for going to bat for me. Thank you for telling me what I could do better with my stories, and thank you for turning my lacking internship experience in New York into a true hands-on learning experience with my return to Philly and the internship at Philly Weekly.
Thank you for doing what you do best: for making me aware of my potential, giving me the opportunities to realize it, and always taking a few minutes to chat when I came running back to you for advice.
Thank you for helping me reason with myself. I don’t know who or where I’d be otherwise.
I owe you.